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VET FEE-HELP reforms will merely paper over the cracks of a system prone to abuse

Peter Noonan writes in The Conversation (26.8.16) about some of the perceived shortcomings of the federal government’s proposals to improve the system of financial loans for TAFE/VET students.

‘Education Minister Simon Birmingham has foreshadowed further major changes to the troubled VET FEE-HELP loan scheme to rein in costs and tackle widespread abuse by unscrupulous providers.

‘But will these changes fix the problem? Or will they merely paper over the cracks of a system that is prone to abuse?

‘… A new VET financing system is required: one that would encompass both state funding and VET FEE-HELP with clear roles for the Commonwealth and the states.

‘The system should include agreed pricing, quality assurance requirements, eligibility criteria and oversight in each state and an agreed commitment to the future resourcing requirements for VET into the future.’

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